2008-02-18: Where in the World Is Kory Alexander?


Randall_icon.gif Kimi_icon.gif Sophie_icon.gif Portia_icon.gif KeLyssa_icon.gif

Special appearances by Marvin, Tito, Professor Neckbeard and the 8th Street Irregulars

Summary: Kory's absence since Valentine's Day is investigated, revealing increasingly suspicious circumstances. Meanwhile, Kimi meets up with a client.

Date It Happened: February 18, 2008

Where in the World Is Kory Alexander?

The Secret Lair, East Village

The door to the Lair bangs open, rather too loudly, though at least there's no shattering of glass. Randall is on edge once again, even more so than the last time he was here; as if weeks of relationship drama weren't enough, now she's fallen off the cell phone grid for a few days. And after all the precautions they took last time, losing touch for weeks over a wrong number… Anyway, the time has come for him to follow up on his worries.

The dramatic banging of the door causes everyone to turn around and look over at the door. Tito, who's at the counter, frowns at Randall, and grumbles, "Hey. Mind the scenery, dude." But he follows it up with a friendly wave. "The boss isn't here now, though, if you're lookin' for her."

Belatedly, Randall glances over to make sure the damage isn't worse than it sounded like, then presses one hand to the back of his neck as he walks over to the counter. "Yeah, I am. I've been trying to call her for days now— you heard anything recently?"

(Flashback: A succession of moments from Valentine's Day, starting about half an hour before sunset and growing darker from there. Randall, wearing a new shirt and jacket to distract from his same-old-jeans, makes a series of phone calls - each time appearing increasingly concerned at the lack of response or callback. Finally, he shakes his head and dials a different number. "Hello? Yes, I had a reservation for two at eight, go ahead and cancel it. The name's—")

Kimi steps into the Lair, and has a look around. She quickly gives a once-over to the anime and manga sections, before taking a picture with her PDA, and then pocketing it. "Good evening," she says, to the man behind the counter. "I'm meeting someone here. A gentleman who answers to Marvin?"

Tito looks up at the new entry and calls a greeting. "Just a minute, ma'am," he tells Kimi as she announces herself. "Days?" he repeats to Randall, brow furrowing. "She's been off, I thought. I only just came back on shift myself. I was sick again. I know she was hangin' out with the brother man" — a jerk of his thumb toward the ceiling indicates Lee's apartment overhead. "Maybe he's doing something stupid and brought her along for the ride." Like took off to Philly to see Nima or something.

Sophie has been here before. She seems to have liked it, so here she is, back again. She opens the door casually, strolling inside, like any other customer.

Randall glances over, mouthing a brief silent apology to Kimi, before turning his attention back to Tito. "Could be, I guess… but it's not like her to drop out of phone contact. We had an issue about that, early on." Well, if Tito's a dry well, then maybe the gamers have some more info; he heads back toward their usual corner, craning his head to see if they're at it again.

Kimi inclines her head politely at Randall. Clearly the guy's agitated about something. She is patient until he finishes up with the counter guy. "I was asking for Marvin?"

"Oh, yeah, Marvin," Tito checks a stack of papers on the counter. "He said he was running late, he apologizes, and you can charge for the wait time." Overheard by the gamers in the back, there ensues vulgar catcalling as assumptions are made based on what has been said.

Sophie moves closer to where she recognizes a voice. She notices Kimi, but hearing the comment, she figures the girl is on the job. She offers a subtle wave of her fingers, yes, gloved. Then starts flipping through the comics.

Well, at least Leslie - the GM of a thousand names - isn't here today. Thank God for small favors. Instead, Randall offers a polite wave to Professor Neckbeard: "Hi, sorry to interrupt— you guys don't happen to have seen Kory around lately, have you? Or heard anything about where she was headed?"

"Thank you," Kimi tells Tito, inclining her head. "I'll wait. I like the looks of this place, and I haven't read any good manga in ages." She turns to give the gamers who catcalled an icy look, and spots Sophie on the way around. "Well. Hello again, Sophie."

"Not lately, no," the Professor replies, with a shake of his head. He glances at his fellows, and the negative headshake goes around the table with the skinny blond kid to Neckbeard's left saying, "Last I heard, she'd shot --" he pauses, glances around, and then continues, "—Leslie down for a date on Valentine's Day. He was in here griping for it for two days." He snorts a laugh and pushes the glasses up on his nose with his middle finger. "Not like the flowers won her over. Or the candy. Or the tea."

Sophie breaks into a smile at Kimi, walking over. "Hey there." she looks around, "Yeah, this looks like the kind of place your friends might come." then pauses, curiously as she hears Tito. "Wait.. I remember this line of people, and Les.. did he go by some other name? Like.. Solarsomething? Fox, maybe?"

And Gareth. And Dirk Dark. And several others. Randall purses his lips at the mention of the flowers and candy - annoyed that he tried to muscle in, selfishly pleased that it didn't work. But the target of said gestures is still AWOL. "Okay, thanks," he murmurs, wandering over to the next aisle down. Are there any other leads to be had here? he wonders to himself.

"Hey, Sophie, how are you?" Kimi tells the other woman. "Small city today. Or should I be worried you're following me around?" It's meant to be a playful joke, though; she's not serious in her implication that Sophie's stalking her. She already knows from the woman herself how shy Sophie is.

"Oh yeah. Solarfox was his nickname last week. This week, I think it's Jet Rocket or some such stupid thing," Tito smirks at Sophie's inquiry.

"It is flu season, my boy," the Professor suggests gently. "Perhaps she's just home sleeping some nasty thing out of her system and has her phone turned off. That girl never does get enough sleep, you know."

Sophie nods a moment, "Yeah, that was likely it. You mean.. that lady is missing? Well, I would guess you'd try where she lives, right?" thoughtfully. THen she looks at Kimi, laughing. "Yeah, that's it.. well, and trying to see if I like this comic book stuff."

Randall turns and nods once again to the professor. "You could be right. Takes a lot to drag down her supply of jumping beans, but it's happened before." Not due to illness, but after she checked up on the inner thoughts of one Gabriel Gray. And if something of that magnitude has pulled her out of her usual routine once again… "Yeah, I'd better go check, just in case. Maybe she could use a chicken soup delivery." He fishes out his phone again, double-checking the address as he wanders toward the exit, navigating his way through the shelves without looking up.

"Missing?" Kimi repeats, glancing between Tito and Sophie with a what-have-I-walked-into sort of expression marring her features. "Hopefully the older gent is right and she's just got the flu and she's safely home in bed." She returns her attention to Sophie. "Yes? What're you into reading?"

"I hope she's not missing," Tito says, concerned now. "Maybe KeLyssa knows. She should be in for her shift before too much longer, and then you can ask her, too." Tito looks through the messages, and his face suddenly goes a bit ashen. "Oh, she's missing or something. The Chrises called here looking for her, too."

Sophie nods, "Well, I AM planning on being a librarian." she chuckles, "I thought about trying comics. But I wasn't sure where to even start."

As Randall heads towards the exit, Portia enters through the exit which, for the moment, happens to be the entrance. She looks around, wrinkling her nose a little as she just peers about.

A sign of how badly distracted and concerned Randall is: he turns to look back toward the counter, but keeps walking. "How long ago was—" and then oofs, plowing right into Portia. Instinctively, he reaches out and tries to catch her wrist before she has time to lose her balance.

"I remember you mentioning," Kimi confirms to Sophie, looking up as Portia walks in. Nope, not her client. "Well, when it comes to comics, as a beginner? You want to pick something just starting, or hit wikipedia to get up to speed on anything that hasn't just starting. But there are comics in just about every genre, so you can pick what you like to read."

"Look out!" Tito calls, realizing he's dragged Randall's attention back when he's walking and not watching where he's going. But his warning doesn't come in time. He just winces sympathetically.

With a slow pace, KeLyssa enters the store with a little shove of the door. She quickly puts on a happy face for all who may see.

Sophie turns as she notices KeLyssa. She waves, "Hey there! I liked the comics I tried. I thought.. maybe seeing if I could like something new." then she pauses, "Do you know where Kory is? She was here the last time I came by."

Portia blinks a little as she slams into Randall, but she doesn't fall, thanks to the quick grasp. "Uh. Wow. Are you okay?"

Once he's sure that Portia is okay, Randall lets go. "Sorry about that. Uh, I'm okay, but Kory's gone missing." Which means he's not okay, really. "How long ago did the Chrises call?" he asks of Tito. "I haven't been able to reach her since the day before Valentine's Day, myself."

Kimi looks up, smiling, from beside Sophie as a freshly scrubbed and tidy Marvin walks in. He's standing shyly by the door, and he's clearly self-conscious about the giant cowlick on top of his head that won't lie down, even with the copious amount of mousse he put in his hair. "Excuse me," Kimi says to Sophie. "I've got work. Good seeing you again." She wends her way through the crowd. "Good luck finding your friend," she offers sympathetically to Randall as she makes her way to Marvin.

Marvin gasps. "You look stunning…" he is heard to whisper as he holds the door for her and the pair of them leave.

"They called yesterday evening, looking for her," Tito reads from the message pad. "They said she was supposed to come look after Ickle Ronniekins on Monday overnight, but she didn't call and she didn't show. Whichever Chris left the message said that's not like her at all, and he's worried." He looks over to KeLyssa. "You haven't heard anything from the Boss, have you?"

KeLyssa offers a little smile and wave to Sophie. "Well, I'm glad ya liked them comics ya read. There're some real good'n nice ones 'round. There're kinds for all types!" She says with a firm nod. "Kory? Oh umm…" She'd give Randall a quick and worried glances if she knew he was here. "She's…she's…I haven't seen her or talked to her in a while, to be honest. I don't know what's going on!" She sighs. "But…you know. If ya still need any help, there's a few of us around." She looks over to Tito. "Nah, I ain't heard from her in a while. I should get the Super of our building to open up the door. Maybe somethin's wrong…"

Randall makes a face. One day since the phone call, but two days since she also no-showed a dog-watching gig. This is the woman who dragged their New Year's Eve date over to their penthouse at the last minute, she was so dedicated to professionalism. "Here, I can save you a step," he says to KeLyssa, taking out his key ring - still with a copy of the key to Kory's apartment, which (insisting to himself that the not-breakup really wasn't a breakup) he never did give back.

Sophie is more than a little worried, so she follows over where Randall walks up. Not going up too.. yet.

KeLyssa smiles at Randall, taking the key. "Thanks. I do hope she's alright. She's a resourceful one if there ever was one, I suppose. I bet we'll find her. I really do. I bet she'll turn up an' all'll be just fine, eh?"

Randall returns KeLyssa's smile, but clearly lacks her optimistic demeanor. "I hope you're right," he murmurs, waving to the others who've chimed in as he steps outside.

Kory's Apartment

Sophie follows behind the others. Obviously, the guy with the key came in first. Her head pops in, checking around to see, well, case the joint, perhaps.

Despite her outward optimism, KeLyssa was feeling nothing but dread. What was going on? She usually at least heard from Kory if she was going to be away for awhile. She has a bad feeling…a real bad feeling.

Randall glances around. "Kory? You in here?" One of those little things that distinguishes him from Leslie - he's always used both syllables of her name. Met only with silence in response, he steps inside, wandering around and looking at things. "This is not a good sign," he muses out loud, pointing out the full bowl of popcorn.

Sophie takes a look around, nodding. "It isn't like she's generally messy." she says as she walks in, glancing around. "Not enough food for that. Its like. just some snacks, and their old. Either she's neat enough to toss the snacks and stuff when she was done, or she wasn't here to make more mess." not sounding happy about that.

KeLyssa gazes about as she enters. "Somethin' tells me that she ain't been around or touched nothin' since…well, by the looks of things…now, that don' make much sense. It's almost like she ain't been around since almost Valentine's day."

Randall nods. "The candy, right?" Leslie's candy. And that tea might be some of his tea, too, which was evidently a big enough deal that Professor Neckbeard mentioned it in the same breath as flowers and candy. "So how the hell do we find her?" he asks. "I guess we should go around, ask the neighbors if any of them saw anything." He takes out his cell phone and tries her number again, to no avail: either the phone's battery has run out, or it isn't here.

Sophie sighs as she says, "I can't understand it. I mean.. she didn't even put the cap on the polish. That's leaving REALLY quickly."

KeLyssa pokes her nose around, trying to find some clues. "I wish I could've been of help. I like a few floors down, but I was at work at the time!" She shakes her head. "It's just…somethin' ain't right." She got a strange feeling from that Leslie character, but it was only a feeling. He had, after all, been at the Lair on Valentine's day sulking. So he couldn't be involved, right?

Randall wanders into the bedroom, then back again. Whole lot of no evidence to be had in there. He picks up the blanket, absently folding it up and setting it back on the couch - then, glancing at the tea again, he heads into the kitchen to retrieve some paper towels and get it wrapped up. It's a long shot, but pursuing long shots is who Randall is, after all.

Sophie sighs, 'If there is anything wrong with it, at least it'd be a clue of SOME kind. No notes, obviously." she pauses, 'She didn't have a land line, right? No answering machine or anything?"

KeLyssa plops herself down on the couch for a moment. "If I were Kory an' I wanted to go somewhere an' tell nobody, where would I go?" She pauses for a moment before shaking her head. "That's a silly thought. Both of us'd clean up b'fore goin' somewhere. Do…could she've been taken by somebody? I mean, I know that sounds stupid some, but what if it happened?"

Randall shakes his head. "That doesn't make sense, though, does it? Leslie might want to, but he's not the brute-force type… and even if he was, she would've fought back. Things would be all knocked around."

Sophie nods, "I thought about that. I mean.. doesn't look like she tried to fight. That doesn't mean, I don't know.. she was drugged." nodding at the tea, "Or they used some kind of.. I don't know.. leverage? Something to make sure she wouldn't, or coudn't fight?"

KeLyssa nods to that. "Yeah…drugged…it could've been someone who was familiar perhaps." She looks up at Randall. "Leslie's a strange guy. But he came 'round the Lair durin' Valentine's, complainin' of how he was shot down an' all. Anyways, you're right. He ain't the brute-force type. He's more…the thinkin' type. If he'd do it, he'd plan it out slowly an' carefully. Make sure she couldn't or wouldn't fight back."

"I don't know of any skeletons in her closet," says Randall - well, there's the whole I Have An Ability thing, but he doesn't know that it's safe to talk to Sophie about such things - "so leverage… I guess they could threaten to hurt her brother or something, but they'd still need a reason to abduct her, right? Now drugs, on the other hand…" With a frown, he taps his fingers against the side of the mug. "I think we'd better take this someplace, get it checked out. Just in case."

Sophie nods, 'I mean, do you think the police will take it seriously yet? I know it can take time with adults.. but we can at least get the clock ticking, right?"

KeLyssa takes a deep, calculated breath. "In all reported cases of abduction, they captures have wanted something. What do these people want? Why haven't they been in contact with anyone about her or about demands? Perhaps they want her for personal reasons? Police will…what could the police find?"

Randall gets up and leans heavily against the back of the couch. "If it's him, then he wants her, period— he's made that obvious enough. I was thinking the police could check this out, see if there's a knockout drug in it or something… If there is, then she probably got carried out. If not… if not, then I dunno what the next step is."

Sophie nods, "I think that's a good idea, at least, to start. I'm not a police officer, at least." she looks around, "Umm.. maybe if we can check around, see if anyone's seen /Leslie/? I.. wouldn't mind having a chance to contact him, maybe ask a question or two, myself."

KeLyssa nods to Sophie. "Just stay 'round the Lair. That's his hangout. An' you can ask some of the gamers there. They know 'im well enough. Though they don't know 'im as 'Leslie'. Just ask 'bout the Game Master." She says with a little nod.

"I think you're on to something there." Randall straightens up again and looks around, in case there are any other hints laying around. "If he kidn— well, really I dunno… he was out there, but I really didn't see him going that far. I just don't have any other ideas. Anyway, if he took her, then I'm assuming he'd want them both to drop off the radar and—" Suddenly, he staggers backward, thudding against the wall. He really does not want to deal with how that sentence might end.

Sophie winces, then says, "Someone has to know.. he didn't work here, right? We have a real name, I wonder if we can find an address. Someone HAS to know him, he had to live somewhere. She seemed to like him, even if it wasn't like he wanted her to. I don't think he was living in a cardboard box somewhere."

KeLyssa furrows her brow. "I knew that li'l geek was no good. I bet it was him, you know. He's smart enough. I know how 'intelligent' people like him think." She's similar. Straight A's all the way. "Don't worry though, boy and girl, we'll get our answers. The Lair has been a second home to him. Surely someone there'll know something an' I know how to get answers out've 'em."

Sophie nods, "Do any of them really, really like Kory, and I don't mean the way Leslie did? And can any of them.. well, find information even if they don't already know it? Like backtrack his gamer path back to wherever his home computer might be?"

Randall shrugs. "They're all friendly with Kory… none of the others seemed to really stand out ahead of each other. Some of them might know computers pretty well, seems to go along with the gaming thing." Giving up on spotting any more clues here tonight, he starts toward the door, picking up the mug along the way.

KeLyssa shakes her head. "Most've 'em like Kory. But then, most've 'em are in awe've any pretty gal who'll talk to 'em too." She sighs and shakes her head once more. "Nah, most've their games that they do in that li'l spot is the kind where they gotta use pencil an' paper an' dice. That's the sorta gamin'. But ya can leave 'em to me. I spend enough time there workin' that no doubt they're at least a li'l comfy talkin' to me, some."

Sophie nods, taking a breath. "I didn't know her nearly as well." she sighs, "I don't know what help I can be. But.. maybe I can at least come up with ideas, if you find people you think might know something."

Sophie sighs, "I think I have to go, darn it. And there is definitely a phone call I need to make when I do." she smiles wryly. "Do you have my number? In case any of us find anything out?"

Randall offers as close to a smile as he can manage through his worry. "Thanks, both of you. I owe you big-time. Here—" He sets the mug of tea down and takes out his phone, calling up the address book, and relaying his own number to the others in turn.

Sophie gives out her number to the two, 'Ok, and good luck. I hope I can help anyway I can." as she has to take off.

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